Does the topic of money make your mouth dry and your hands sweat? Mmmm…Do you dread that point in a conversation when someone says, “So what do you charge?” Oh, how I hate this and I’m sure you do too! Just what ARE your RATES anyway?
So, you are not alone in this situation. Because most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting rates for our own work. Honestly…just what are you worth?
If you’re going to be successful in business, you have to get over it. Yup, you heard me right! GET OVER IT!
So, here are a few of my suggestions:
The first rule for declaring your rates with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. Stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 per hour.” Or…”I have 3 different packages you may select from.”
The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will be for you.
Even if you’re on the phone or writing an email, smile when you say your rates. Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing) and that tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.
3) Avoid Being Indecisive
Listen to yourself as you speak to potential clients. Do you say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?” REALLY???
These (and others like them) are all indecisive ways of talking that do not instill confidence in your client, and worse, they make you sound like you don’t believe in yourself. This is true, and you should except that fact my friend.
Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate for VA Services is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…
4) Be Silent
When we’re nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.
But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So when you’re talking pricing or rates, please avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you’re most likely to try to justify them) and let your potential client take the time to respond.
Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? Nope! But being able to share your rates in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you’re confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are the right virtual assistant for them.
Speaking of…I know the perfect VA for you…ME! You can contact me HERE! I would love to help you with your business. And yes, we will be discussing my Rates and you can see what services I offer HERE!
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about two things in my business, foundations & recurring revenue.
I believe that to build a sustainable and profitable business, you need only to focus on creating a great foundation. And you need to find ways to bring in predictable recurring revenue.
Doing this helps you to build stability that gives you the freedom to build on what you have and to create a lifestyle business that fits you and what you believe.
What are the foundations?
It’s going back to the basics of building a business and doing this works for any business whether it’s online or a brick and mortar store.
Take a look at what your key foundations for your business are. For me, it’s sharing what I know with you. And you could listen to a ton of business owners out there but…you’ve taken the time to sign up and share your email address with me. And this gives me the opportunity to connect with you personally in your inbox. I appreciate you so much for that too, so thank you. This is the beginning of “relationship building” that we’ll discuss in another blog post. But for today, let’s discuss what else is included in building your foundation.
foun·da·tion founˈdāSH(ə)n/Submit noun 1. the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. synonyms: footing, foot, base, substructure, infrastructure, underpinning; More 2. an underlying basis or principle for something. “this idea is the foundation of all modern economics” synonyms: basis, starting point, base, point of departure, beginning, premise;
Another foundation piece should be revenue and profit. Running a business that isn’t profitable is a business that isn’t sustainable. Are you understanding the message here? I sure hope so…because if you’re not making a profit…why are you doing what you’re doing?
Your foundation is what will keep your business moving forward. Its purpose is to keep you focused on your reason for being in business in the first place. For many business owners, this is called the “WHY“. So why are you doing what you’re doing?
It’s that foundation piece to help keep you moving forward when you’re ready to just let it all go. What? Let it go…did I hear you right? No way…I just got started! (I can hear you saying that right now!)
Another important foundation is staying focused.To do this keep your big goal / idea somewhere you can see it. Yes…write it down and put it on your bulletin board or whatever method you use so you see it EVERY DAY!
Remove all your distractions and focus on what you want to get done to lay the foundation for your business. It will really make a difference for you. Honest!!
Next up is…
Recurring Business Revenue
As a business owner, creating income that is predictable and consistent is important, REALLY important in fact. Having a service, program or membership that offers the opportunity to bring in consistent cash flow month after month is one of the best ways to bring in consistent income.
Look at alternative ways to create recurring revenue. Whether it’s creating small e-books to sell on your website, checklists or having a membership site, it will help to create a positive cash flow, kind of like set it and forget it plan.
rev·e·nue ˈrevəˌn(y)o͞o/Submit noun income, especially when of a company or organization and of a substantial nature. synonyms: income, takings, receipts, proceeds, earnings, sales; profit(s) “this month’s revenue is up 5 percent from last month” a state’s annual income from which public expenses are met. items or amounts constituting a state’s income. “the government’s tax revenues”
You can also do affiliate marketing which is a great way to earn some additional income. I’ll discuss this more in a future blog post, so you’ll want to make sure you stay tuned for that.
I’m not quite ready to share what I have planned, but I can tell you that it’s going to be a money maker for me for the future.
So, what kinds of things do you have in place for your business? Please let me know in the comments below…I’d love to hear about them.
In the meantime, I would love to help you with your business so please let me know by contacting me here.
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As in any business, you’ll spend a certain amount of time on clients who will never pay you. Really? Gasp!! Not in my business ever! What you say? You mean clients always pay you? Yup, that’s what I’m saying. So, here’s the situation.
Do you realize that…
Website designers quote jobs that never come to fruition? Yes, it happens every day!
Car dealers spend hours chatting up customers who will never buy? Yup, I’ve seen it happen!
Book agents read countless manuscripts they will never be able to sell? Can you imagine this?
And coaches spend time giving out free advice to clients who cannot or will not hire them. Oh, my!
Truthfully, it can be frustrating when you’re in this situation. And it’s definitely a drain on your time and energy, right? But there are some things you can do to eliminate those who will never become clients without having to spend time with them first.
1) Someone that trusts you 2) They receive value from you 3) A person who will pay you
OK…here are my magical ideas!
Post Your Prices
One of the most hotly debated topics among coaches and service providers is whether or not you should post your prices on your website. There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but the biggest advantage to posting your prices is that it immediately eliminates those who cannot afford you. Yes, this is true! If you are not comfortable doing this, then put “starts at”.
Of course, you don’t have to list prices for everything to achieve the same effect. If you offer private coaching and self-directed training packages, having a price tag of $1000 on your “entry level” course makes things pretty clear. Your private coaching is going to be at the high end. And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
If you prefer to quote packages individually, a line that states, “Coaching packages start at $XXX” is a simple way to state your prices while still giving you some flexibility. Right? I mean if you’re going to provide this as a service you need to market it correctly.
Before you get on the phone with anyone, require that they do a little groundwork first. A client intake form should tell you everything you need to know about a potential client. So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Not only that, but you can include in your form a question about pricing. Such as “What’s your budget for coaching?” Use a pre-defined list of answers that start with “$1,000 and up” rather than letting your potential client fill in her own amount.
And, I guarantee you that those with smaller budgets won’t bother to complete it.
Change Your Language
You know that words have power! If the words you use on your website and other marketing material are speaking to newbies or those just getting started in business, you’ll never attract the audience you’re seeking. Instead of using words like “step by step plan,” say, “advanced techniques.” Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
You’ll still spend some time and energy on those who ultimately won’t hire you. But by making these simple edits to your website, marketing materials, and other business systems, you’ll begin to see more high-end clients.
So try it, maybe see if this method works for you. And, as a result, you may just save yourself some time.
I bet fewer of those types of clients you no longer wish to work with will disappear, just like magic! It’s as simple as that! Try it and see if this method works for you.
Remember, if you need help with your business, I’m always available for a FREE 15-minute chat. Just contact me here…I know…it’s a form! What did you expect?? Yes, you are finally finished reading this post. BUT…
When you think about the highest earning business coaches, people like Ali Brown, Carrie Wilkerson, and Marie Forleo, what comes to mind? Charisma, experience, and expertise are often at the top of the list. Do you think they have the proper mindset?
Would it surprise you to know that those are not the most important characteristics? In fact, while those things do help attract and keep an audience, there’s one thing that is absolutely critical to their success, and you can’t even see it. It’s their MINDSET!
It’s true. In everything you do, whether in business or in life, your mindset is the determining factor when it comes to your success.
Your business plans are no different. Without the right mindset, you will forever be attracting and working with clients who are:
deserving and lovely
are less than your ideal client
and might have problems when it comes to their ability to pay
So before you can realize your dreams of four- or five-figure clients, you have to do some internal work. You have to make some changes to your own mindset. To be more in line with what the top earners in your industry already do and feel.
mindset ˈmīn(d)set/Submit noun the established set of attitudes held by someone. “the region seems stuck in a medieval mindset”
Changing Your Attitude
One thing charismatic and personable people have in common is a good attitude. Think about it; you’ll never see Carrie Wilkerson or Paul Evans complaining about how the kids are sick, “again!”! Or that the cable repair guy is 40 minutes late, or even that the car blew a tire.
Instead, you see their expressions of gratitude in everything. If the kids are sick, they’re grateful to have a business that allows them to stay home and play nurse.
If the cable guy is late, they’re grateful to have 40 extra minutes. They will just read a book instead of watch television.
And if the car died in the middle of running a week’s worth of errands, oh well! They’re happy to have found a mechanic who does great work at a reasonable price.
If you find yourself complaining—even in your head—turn your attitude around. There’s nearly always something to be grateful for, even in the worst situations.
And when you can rethink and revise your attitude for the better, you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll attract a better audience, too.
at·ti·tude ˈadəˌt(y)o͞od/Submit noun a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. “she took a tough attitude toward other people’s indulgences” synonyms: view, viewpoint, outlook, perspective, stance, standpoint, position, inclination, temper, orientation, approach, reaction; More a position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state. “the boy was standing in an attitude of despair, his chin sunk on his chest” synonyms: position, posture, pose, stance, bearing “an attitude of prayer” NORTH AMERICANinformal truculent or uncooperative behavior; a resentful or antagonistic manner. “I asked the waiter for a clean fork, and all I got was attitude”
Growing Your Confidence
Here’s something else top-end coaches have in common: confidence. Yes, they believe in what they do. They believe in their own ability to help others achieve the same thing. So they walk on stage or join a webinar filled with the knowledge that what they are about to say will change the lives of those who are listening.
It’s not cocky or arrogant, it’s just confidence. And if you don’t have it yet, you can take steps to increase it.
Start by asking yourself, in any new or uncomfortable situation, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Of those worst-case scenarios, resolve what you have control over, and let the rest go.
So if you’ve agreed to speak in front of a small group of business owners, and your fear is that you’ll flub your speech, practicing beforehand will greatly improve your confidence.
Next, get inside the head of someone who is confident in what you’re about to do. Walk onto that stage as if you’ve been doing it for years, and not only will you feel more confident, but you’ll be more confident.
You can use the “as if” attitude in everything from creating a new product to closing a sale. Whenever you feel your confidence failing, just remember to act as if you’ve done this successfully hundreds of times.
con·fi·dence ˈkänfədəns/Submit noun the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. “we had every confidence in the staff” synonyms: trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction “I have little confidence in these figures” the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. “it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers” a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. “she’s brimming with confidence” synonyms: self-assurance, self-confidence, self-possession, assertiveness;
Just like how the person you’re talking to on the phone can hear a smile in your voice. Your potential clients can sense your mindset also.
And, if it’s not up to the standards of the top earners in your niche, you’ll struggle to make the sale. Just work on your attitude and confidence levels. Then watch your income soar.
I certainly hope you enjoyed reading this article on “Creating Your Mindset For Business“.
If you need help with your business contact me HERE. I would love to help create your successful business.
“To get new results you must take new actions and all actions are fathered by a decision.” – Anthony Robbins
The Importance of Making a Committed Decision
The first step in building a successful business is making the decision to do it!
I want you to think about that for a moment. The first step in achieving a successful business is to plan to do so. I bring this up because so many business owners jump into the profession and immediately focus on how to get clients. Then, how to make money, then how to market, and how to close sales. All this before they have fully committed to having a successful business, to begin with. Is this you?
A committed decision is a foundational pillar upon which your successful business is built.
That’s powerful! Isn’t it? That’s the kind of committed decision you must make about your business.
For example, you could decide to do whatever it takes. You could decide to build a successful business or to make a meaningful impact in the world. One of my favorites is beautifully simple: Commit to being a business owner. Decide to be a business owner!
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners who are “trying” to grow their business haven’t made a committed decision to succeed as a business owners. They are feeling things out, waiting to see what happens, and hoping to get clients. There is no real commitment or determination. Don’t let this happen to you! The first step to going from “trying” to “succeeding” is a decision.
Benefits of Making a Decision
Building a business is not easy. If you don’t fully commit to doing what it takes, you won’t succeed. It’s that simple.
When you make and connect with your committed decision, you will have more focus, clarity, and purpose. You will have more inspiration and more motivation. Let’s face it, obstacles will arise! If it was easy to build a successful and profitable business, everyone would be a business owner.
Your decision will remind you of the reasons why you became a business owner and why you want to succeed in this business. Right? When you deeply connect with your decision and your reasons, you will be inspired to take the action necessary to succeed.
This may sound contradictory, but the decision, in and of itself, means nothing. It is the inspired action that results from you making a decision and connecting with it every day that really matters.
What a Decision is, it’s Not a Goal
I think goal setting is great, but the power to achieve them comes from the DECISION. The first step is to make a committed decision. THEN you set goals that are congruent with your decision. But the decision comes first.
Decision: Declaration, commitment, general, comes before the goal. Example: To have a successful business
Goal: Where you want to be, specific, measurable. Example: To have 10 new clients in 6 months.
A Decision is Not a Mission Statement
I don’t want you to turn your decision into a long, flowery, descriptive mission statement. There is nothing wrong with having a mission statement for your business or life, it’s just not what I recommend right now!
I’d like you to make a decision that stirs up your emotions. Your decision should connect you with your passion for business. Your decision should strengthen your commitment, inspiring you to act even when it isn’t easy.
Decision: Clear, Concise, Memorable, Inspiring. Example: My life purpose is to be a good business owner. It is who I am.
Mission Statement: A narrative description of a purpose or aim Example: I endeavor to manifest my destiny by enabling single women to achieve greater fulfillment while contributing to the peace and joy of humanity.
Below is a short lesson on making decisions.
Assignment 1 – Make Your Decision
Make a conscious decision, a real declaration, about your commitment and desire to build a successful business.
Ask Yourself: “What decision can I make right now that will spur me into action and help me stay committed to being a successful business owner?”
Examples: “I commit to building a successful business.” “I’m doing this and not giving up!” “I’m an amazing business owner with a huge practice and great life.” “I commit to being a masterful business owner, having a thriving practice and living the life of my dreams.”
Elements of a Powerful Decision
Clear: It should be easily understood by a 12-year-old.
Concise/Memorable: You should be able to easily recite your decision from memory. Evokes Feeling The actual sentence isn’t as important as the feeling behind it.
Inspires Action: The best decision you can make is one that inspires you to take action, even when you don’t feel like it.
Are You Ready? Take time RIGHT NOW and make a powerful decision that inspires and motivates you. This is a critical piece of the foundation upon which your successful business is built.
Now that you have made a decision, the next step is to get fully committed. The key is desire! Identify WHY you want to make it as
Identify WHY you want to make it as a business owner. You need to be fully committed to your decision, because if you’re not, you may falter when challenges arise. And there will be challenges.
It’s not always easy to build a successful business! The key is having strong, compelling reasons so you commit to your decision, take action, and never give up. Below, write down all the reasons WHY you just made a committed decision.
This is a critical step, so set aside some time and think deeply. Why is this important to you? Is this the reason you were put on the earth? Will it enable you to be the best you can be? Will it give you the freedom you desire? How happy and fulfilled will you feel? How will this impact others?
Ok, let’s get real on this how OUTSOURCING can help your business. Today’s article will discuss how outsourcing can change your business. Are you ready?
There’s so much to do when you have a business. Especially when you have an online presence, which most businesses do these days. From content creation, list building, and a launch strategy, this is SO MUCH WORK! I can hear you saying that right now. And then you have to actually manage your business to boot. The list of tasks can seem unmanageable.
If you’re feeling the stress of it all, don’t worry—you’re not alone. And you don’t have to do this alone. Even if you’re a first-time business owner, OUTSOURCE part of the workload to a VIRTUAL ASSISTANT. They can/will make a task that feels insurmountable totally doable.
What Is the Idea of OUTSOURCING?
The idea of OUTSOURCING or working with a VA can be intimidating at first. But, YOU can build your business around having a Virtual Assistant that works with you, NOT for you. I can show you how to get it right. And I think that learning how to delegate is one of the best things an entrepreneur can do. Don’t you agree with that?
BUT it can be difficult to know what to delegate and when. Can you relate to that? Yes, you say in your best “I can relate” voice!
In this post, I’m going to give you the down-low on all things OUTSOURCING. I’ll teach you what to outsource, how to outsource, and even give specific ideas and lists of what to delegate.
What is OUTSOURCING?
Before I jump into how to outsource, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what outsourcing is and why it’s important to run a successful online business.
Outsourcing is the process of hiring (either domestically or internationally) another team or individual to complete various activities for you.
Specifically, entrepreneurs will often hire a Virtual Assistant to offload tasks so they can get more done in their business.
The tasks you pass along may be monotonous or laborious, so you can be freed up to focus on what really matters. The tasks may also be those that you aren’t naturally skilled at (such as copywriting, proofreading, graphics, etc.), so you outsource OUTSOURCE that task to someone who is more skilled in that area.
I’ll get into the specifics of the types of tasks you can outsource to a Virtual Assistant a little later in this post. Deal?
But first, let’s answer the big “why”.
Why Should I Hire a Virtual Assistant?
I’ve talked with hundreds of course creators and I see the same thing happening time and time again.
We are all spending too much time on the small stuff!
If we were honest with ourselves, most of us are spending 80–90% of our time doing the maintenance tasks for our courses and only 10–20% of our time marketing and selling them. This means that we are spending MORE time on things that don’t make us MONEY. That is the reason WHY we are in business in the first place right?
However, if we could OUTSOURCE the majority of our maintenance tasks, then we would have more time to spend on the things that will actually sell our course and bring in income. YES!!!
The bottom line is this—your personal productivity is limited by time. Whether you have 10hours or 80 hours a week to work on your online course, there is a limit.
When you start OUTSOURCING, that time gets multiplied. When a course creator OR any entrepreneur masters the art of outsourcing, there is literally no limit to what can get done.
By OUTSOURCING the tasks that aren’t core functions of your business, like customer care, editing, proofreading, billing, etc., you’re able to focus on the aspects of your online business that add value to the customer and will allow you to market and expand your business. Good thinking, right?
Before you go out and hire your first (or next) virtual assistant, there are a couple of investments you need to consider.
The financial investment
The time investment
The Financial Investment
You need to go into your outsourcing arrangement with a firm idea of your budget.
A virtual assistant’s rates can range dramatically, depending on who you plan to hire.
Hire internationally: I’m writing this post from the U.S., so when I say “international,” I mean outside of the States. Many international Virtual Assistants advertise their services for as little as $3–$5 per hour, so if you have a limited budget, this is a good option for you. Keep in mind, however, that if you need to work with someone who has personal experience with your local market, you may want to reserve the work you do with VA services in this category to simpler, rote tasks that are easy to communicate virtually. You can find international virtual assistants using freelancer hiring platforms like Upwork.
Hire domestically: If you do have a need to work with someone closer to home, you may want to hire a VA domestically. You’ll often pay more for a Virtual Assistant that is based in the U.S. (and also the U.K. and Canada). If you are English-speaking only and you need help with tasks that require detailed communication, or if your work requires familiarity with local market trends, you may find that the increased investment is worth it to your business.
The average rates for Virtual Assistants in the U.S., the U.K., or Canada can range from $18–$40+ per hour. The best place I have found for domestic Virtual Assistants is to search entrepreneurial Facebook groups like Linda Henslee Enterprises. This is my Facebook group and from here you can check out what services I offer to the general public.
Hire a specialist: Lastly, you may want to hire an expert for a certain task for your business. Maybe you know your business needs an expert copywriter. Maybe you want to pay for a custom sales page or for a Facebook Ad to be created for your business. Know that you’ll pay more for these services, but it can be a worthwhile investment if the individual has proven results.
You should expect to pay anywhere from $50 per hour to thousands of dollars per project, depending on the scope of work. I suggest looking for personal recommendations other businesses provide when it comes to finding a Virtual Assistant. Try logging into The Teachable Tribe and asking who others have hired to get results.
The Time Investment
It’s important to note that there will likely be a time investment on your part to train your new Virtual Assistant.
This individual will be brand new to your business and your processes. I’ve found that it usually takes 1–2 weeks for a new VirtualAssistant to really get accustomed to a client.
During this time, communication is key. Have weekly meetings via phone, Skype, or Zoom to talk about the work that needs to be done for that week. If there is a complex task you need help with, shoot an on-screen video using a tool like Screencastify to show your Virtual Assistant exactly what needs to be done.
Yes, it takes time to train someone, but if you are willing to put in the time investment, you’ll end up saving yourself time in the long run! But, most Virtual Assistants are already trained in all the common software people use to do business so some training is not necessary! Just an FYI.
Where Do You Need Help?
If you have gotten to this point and you’re thinking, “This is the next right step for me”, then read on. I’ve created a step-by-step process to help you choose, hire, and train your new Virtual Assistant.
You physically only have a certain number of hours in a week to complete all the work that needs to be done to run your online business. Right?
So, it’s up to you to decide what your Most Profitable Tasks (MPTs) are in any given week. What is it that you do that will ultimately generate the most income?
Anything else that is taking up your time and energy is really distracting you from your MPTs.
Before you go on the hunt to find the perfect Virtual Assistant, you’ll need to know what tasks you are looking to outsource to your new VA.
What are you delegating so you can focus on your MPTs?
Again, you may end up hiring a generalist (a Virtual Assistant that can handle a variety of tasks) or a specialist (a Virtual Assistant who specializes in one specific area like bookkeeping, graphic design, proofreading,
Here is a list of the 25 most common services offered by Virtual Assistants:
Content Creation (blog posts or your course content)
Sales Funnels and/or Facebook Ads
Customer Service and/or Email Management
Custom Sales Page Creation
Social Media Management
Webinar Setup and Assistance
Transcription and/or Data Entry
Billing and/or Processes
Responding to Blog Comments
Maintaining an Editorial Calendar
Social Media Graphics
Ebook Content and Design
Accounting and/or Bookkeeping
PR / Press Releases
Your tasks for today…
#1 Make a list of all the tasks that you do on a regular basis. Look back at your past week or even your current to-do list. From this list, circle all of the things that you could potentially hire someone else to take off your plate.
#2 Based on the items you circled, decide if you want to hire a generalist or a specialist. From there, decide if you want to hire a domestic or international Virtual Assistant.
#3 Create a job description for your Virtual Assistant, based on the above information. You can use these questions to help create that job description:
Your Blog / Website / Teachable Site
What tasks are you looking for a VA to assist you with?
How many hours per week or month will you need assistance?
What is your budget?
Is there anything else that a VA should know about you or your company?
Where to find your VA?
Once you have your job description written up, it’s time to start the hunt for the perfect Virtual Assistant.
Here are some of my top recommendations for where you can begin your search:
Personal Referrals: Ask other business owners that you know and trust if they have someone who helps them with their tasks. Personal referrals are a great way to find quality help for your business.
Email your list: If you have an existing email list, this is a great place to start finding the newest addition to your team. These are the people that already know, trust, and follow you. Someone who already believes in the vision of your business could be a perfect fit for you.
Facebook Groups: A great place to turn for finding help in your business are entrepreneurial Facebook groups. Try jumping into groups like The Teachable Tribe that have other business owners and course creators. Ask who has worked with quality subcontractors and Virtual Assistants to help grow their online business.
Marketplaces: Upwork is a great resource for finding quality freelancers and Virtual Assistants. You have the ability to create a personal profile and post specific jobs. You can interview candidates, read reviews of their work, and hire and pay through the site.
How to hire the right Virtual Assistant?
You’ve started the search for a Virtual Assistant and the proposals are coming in—congrats! Yay…this is what we are looking for!
The interview process. As you interview, here are a few questions to ask yourself when searching for that perfect fit:
Are they self-starters?
When viewing the proposals, is there anyone that went above and beyond? Maybe they sent you a very personalized proposal instead of something that was obviously a template. Maybe they did some research into your company before applying. If you can find an individual who exceeds what you asked of them, you can be sure that they will continue to be a self-starter once you are working together full time.
Are they reliable?
It’s difficult to tell how reliable a Virtual Assistant is going to be just from the interview and onboarding process. I normally recommend starting out with a trial month to assess how you work together. Once that’s complete, get together and decide if the working relationship is something you want to continue with.
Also remember, the Virtual Assistant won’t be perfect at his or her job within those 30 days. However, you should be able to assess after one month if this individual is generally reliable and competent to do the job.
Do they have the skills?
Natural skill is an important factor when choosing your Virtual Assistant. Hiring someone to do graphics, you want to make sure that their design work is high-quality. Hiring a copywriter, their work needs to be grammatically correct and easy to read. If you can’t assess the applicant’s skill from the proposal they sent you, perhaps ask them to send over an example of their work or send them a quick trial project.
Onboarding your new VA or Freelancer
Once you have decided who you are going to hire to assist you with your business, it’s time to onboard that new Virtual Assistant.
Here’s the process that I personally work through every time I onboard a new person, and this is just a fancy way of saying “Getting them introduced to my business”.
The onboarding checklist:
Set Up an Initial Meeting: Have an initial meeting to outline the job description and your expectations
Have Clearly Defined Pay and Time Expectations: Make sure you have an understanding of how much you will pay your new VA, what their invoicing process looks like, and how / if they will keep track of their time spent on projects for you.
Sign a Contract: Sign a contract! Even if you will only be working together for a trial of 30 days, it is still important to have a contract in place to protect you and your business.
Define a Meeting Schedule: What will your meeting rhythm look like? I recommend meeting via Skype or Zoom once a week to discuss projects, make goals, and review progress.
Set Communication Expectations: How will you communicate throughout the week? Are you available by phone? Can your VA expect to reach you via email? You may want to consider using a tool like Slack or Trello for specific project communication.
Train your VA: Any time a training or explanation is needed for a specific project, I suggest using video. Film an on-screen video to explain what you want to happen in a project. Get your VA on a video call and walk through a specific process with them, so they can see what is expected and answer questions along the way. If your VA sends a long email with detailed questions, consider picking up the phone and talking with them or sending a video with your spoken response.
Remember, effective communication is the key to a healthy Virtual Assistant/Client relationship!
Reminder: You are ready to get started, right?
Here are your Next Steps
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, hiring a Virtual Assistant may be the next best step for you. Let’s get to it NOW!
Throughout this blog on the “How-Tos” to OUTSOURCING, I covered what it will take to hire your first or next Virtual Assistantto support your business.
Here are the tasks that you’ll need to complete in order to successfully bring on the support you need (so your business can grow!):
Understand the Financial Investment.
Understand the Time Investment.
Make a list of your MPTs (what you should be focusing on).
Make a list of the tasks that are not your MPTs (what you should delegate to someone else).
Decide if you want to hire a generalist or a specialist, domestic or international. Decide your budget at this time, as well.
Write out a detailed job description for the type of assistance you are looking for.
Use personal referrals, your email list, Facebook groups, or freelancing sites like Upwork to post your job.
Interview potential virtual assistants.
Choose which VA to hire, and onboard them to help you with your tasks.
Now it’s time to take action! Yes, my friend, you are going to grow your business through OUTSOURCING? Right?
Here are the top 5 reasons why every entrepreneur should partner with a Virtual Assistant in their business. Are you one of them that doesn’t? If you’re not, why not? Making the time in your day to do the work that you enjoy in your business is key to your happiness.
Don’t let the tasks you hate control you. You might just not want to get up in the morning! Consider the following reasons why you should hire a Virtual Assistant. My bet is that you’ll be very happy you did!
1. Lowers your operational costs
Reduce costs that are associated with the production of products and /or services Cut down your overhead associated with equipment, payroll, human resources training, medical, office space, and utilities Only pay for the work that needs to be done which eliminates the costs associated with idle or non-productive time
2. Makes more efficient use of time
Gives you the flexibility to delegate tasks according to skill and abilities Gives you the ability to focus more time on the business aspects in which you are highly skilled and enjoy Make time for the urgent, imperative matters that arise Gives you time to focus on the overall business goals and set priorities accordingly Allow time for the little things that sometimes get left out or overlooked
3. Keeps up with technology
Gain access to an industry professional that can implement the top trends and technology Give you the edge you need to stay competitive and evolve Implement the right tools and resources for your business
4. Enhances your productivity
Implement tools and processes to operate more effectively Enable you to deliver better results in a shorter time frame Speeds up the process of getting your products and/or services to the client Enables you to put into play the concepts and carry out the projects that are currently on your wish list Gives you access to a larger range of highly skilled people
5. Converts your business into a super-fast virtual office
Gives you the ability to work anywhere in the world while remaining accessible to your client base Facilitates the exchange and collaboration of information and documentation Enhances the efficiency and accessibility of the business information available to the client Automate processes and procedures
Partnering With a Virtual Assistant
As business owners, we think we can do it all. But most of the time, we end up overwhelmed and exhausted. Read this article to see what you can do to help get yourself out of “the overwhelm” and feel good about your business.
Want to know more about what a Virtual Assistant can do for your business?
Here’s a brief description of what a Virtual Assistant is from Wikipedia.
A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. … Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses. Virtual assistant (occupation) – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_assistant_(occupation)
Read this article on Having an Assistant. You can get some additional ideas and understand why you should hire a Virtual Assistant. AND why you should make sure you are a Happy Entrepreneur.
Here are just some of the common tasks that Virtual Assistants can provide for your business.
So, are you looking to place any of these tasks in your business off your plate? If you are…you have come to the right place. Make a list of all the tasks you’d like to give to your Virtual Assistant. Then, fill out the form to request a quick informational call from me.
Go Here – Fill out the form to inquire about hiring your Virtual Assistant. I would be more than happy to will help you get those items off “your To-Do list”, therefore freeing up your time. Wouldn’t that make you a Happy Entrepreneur?
It’s not enough to dream of success. It’s not even enough to set goals. You need productivity! Yes…that’s right! Here’s an interesting article on organizing that will help you with your productivity.
The only way to achieve your dreams and build the business you’re meant to build is to sit down and just do it.
And that’s what many of us fail to do. We resist because we are afraid of failing. But it’s the doing that stops us. Are we good enough? Will I be a success? Can you relate to this?
Here’s what we do…
We will overbook our calendars until today’s to-dos become next week’s past dues. We procrastinate on the things that are important while attending to things that are merely “nice to do.” And sometimes we simply take on too much—even when we know better. I know that I do this and it prevents me from advancing to where I want to go in my business.
So, what’s the answer?
According to the dictionary here’s exactly what productivity means as far as business goes:
the state or quality of producing something
the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.
“Workers have boosted productivity by 30 percent”
Check out these five productivity solutions that top coaches use to get more done in less time.
1. Rituals and Habits: Simply put, a ritual or habit is a consistent way of doing something. You have a morning ritual (wake up, brush your teeth, work out, shower, and head to your office), evening ritual (check homework, tuck the kids in, watch the evening news, and hit the sack), weekend ritual (sleep late, mow the lawn, catch a movie, visit your mom), and many others.
The problem here is that if you’re not careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. Is checking Facebook or email a part of your morning ritual? Is turning on Skype a part of your at-work ritual? Distractions such as these can turn even your best intentions into hours of wasted time. And your productivity levels will wind up really suffering.
Take a good look at your rituals. What are you doing that you should not be—or that should be moved to another part of your day? Make your rituals more efficient, and you’ll automatically get more done.
2. Calendar Management: Want to know how much time you really have available for that new project? Try blocking off time in your calendar for all your existing projects. Fill in all your client calls, your business administrative tasks, time for meals and breaks, outside appointments, and everything else you’re committed to. What’s left might just shock you.
Make it a habit to block time in your calendar for every commitment, and you’ll never again over-promise or over-commit. You’d be surprised at how much your productivity will go up because you are more focused on the tasks at hand.
Here Are The Rest
3. Learn to Let Go: Here’s a news flash. You do not have to do everything in your business. You can (and should) hand off those low-level tasks to someone else. Hire a VA to create your documents and manage your calendar. Read this on how to help with your marketing.
Let your tech support person manage your blog and email. Turn over your bookkeeping to an accountant.
The time you free up will allow you to work on what’s truly important—and that only you can do. You will notice that your productivity in what you “desire to do” will go up and you’ll be happier too!
4. Work Hard, Play Harder: You are not a machine. You cannot work all day every day and hope to be at your best all the time. Yes, I know this from experience!
Take a day off. Get some rest, or relax on a long, slow hike. Take a friend out to lunch. Go shopping with your kids. See a movie or a play. Do something—anything—other than work.
Not only will you return to the office feeling much more refreshed, but you’ll also find yourself more creative and your productivity level will be better than before as well.
5. Focus: Multitasking is impossible. What? You cannot efficiently create a new coaching program while you’re simultaneously surfing Facebook, keeping an eye on the kids, and answering the phone every time it rings. Really? Most business people do this way too often and it definitely affects their productivity.
Use your calendar to block time off for important tasks, then turn everything else off so you can focus. No phone, no Facebook, no kids or husbands or neighbors or pets demanding “just a minute” of your time. Tune everything out, and you’ll find your work getting done much faster.
Managing your time and turning up your productivity is not something that comes naturally to most people. When you learn to master this skill, you’ll find your business grows right along with you.
A Few More Ideas
Here are a few more ideas that will help with your productivity:
Make a master list for your grocery list and make copies to fill out every week. Or use a grocery app on your smartphone.